Got to love the logic of Auckland politicians sometimes.
Mayor of Auckland City, John Banks today on the release of a report that suggests that Auckland’s Public Transport will not cope with the Rugby World Cup:
“$58 million was being spent on the Eden Park precinct and thousands were expected to walk from the central city well ahead of game kick-offs.” – NZ Herald
Google Maps suggests this is a 3.6km or 47 minute walk (see here). This is quite a long way, not to mention it is up a massive hill to the top of Queen Street, then over a series of major intersections that are not predistrian friendly then down a number of suburban roads. Quite basically the roads are not designed for the foot traffic that Mayor Banks suggests they could handle.
But coming back to the title of this post, walking is not public transport. What is more shocking is that the article where Mayor Banks is quoted also suggests that:
Nearly 2km of roadside parking had to be found around Eden Park for 130 buses and the entire fleet of 38 Auckland trains would be needed on match days.
If all the trains are being pressed into service to get people to Eden Park then how is any going about their daily lives meant to get about. Surely this should have been seen well in advance and more trains be ordered or borrowed or something!
It seems that now a year out from the Cup that there is a sudden realisation that Auckland is not ready for the cup. That either the waterfront stadium should have been built (at least there would be more and easier public transport to it), or North Harbour stadium should have been used. Sure North Harbour does not have train access but it has a dedicated bus way, and plenty of car parking. The closer that you get to the cup the more you realise that what a disaster it will be using Eden Park as the main game venue.
Who wants to start a little wager on how many days into the cup it will be before there is a signal failure at Newmarket or a massive meltdown with the train system that sees many hundreds late for a match?